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Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909) was an English poet, playwright, novelist, and critic. He invented the roundel form, wrote several novels, and contributed to the famous 11th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. He was educated at Eton College and Oxford University, although did not complete his degree. While at Oxford, he met members of the Pre-Raphaelite circle, a group of artists and writers whose work emphasized medieval subjects, elaborate religious symbolism, and a sensual pictorialism.
Although he wrote poetry in many forms, the most important quality of Swinburne's work is an intense lyricism. He was commended for his intricately extended and evocative imagery, metrical virtuosity, rich use of assonance and alliteration, and bold, complex rhythms. At the same time, the strong rhythms of his poems and his characteristic use of alliteration were sometimes carried to extremes and rendered his work highly susceptible to parody.
Text by Algernon Charles Swinburne